In 2006, the Nantucket New School implemented the MindUp™ curriculum, run by the Hawn Foundation. The MindUp™ program is an educational initiative based on the current research in cognitive neuroscience. This curriculum focuses on the precepts of social and emotional learning and positive psychology, The curriculum works with students on social, emotional, and attentional self-regulatory strategies and skills developed for cultivating well-being and emotional balance.
The mission of the program is to establish social and emotional learning as an essential part of education.
Understanding how their minds work and how their thoughts and feelings affect their behavior is a key starting point for this curriculum. The program begins with the core practice of mindful breathing, which is done in each classroom 1-3 times daily the program provides students with emotional and cognitive tools to help them manage emotions and behaviors, reduce stress, sharpen concentration, and increase empathy and optimism.
The faculty who have worked with the curriculum find that the core practice and lessons help to create a cohesive climate in classroom that enhances learning. The lessons (1-15) include four general units:
- Quieting the mind, sharpening the focus – core practice of mindful breathing
- Mindful of our senses – we practice honing of our senses
- Building blocks to critical thinking & problem solving – upper school language arts and social studies use mindfulness in their reading and
- perspective taking
- Mindful of ourselves in the world – integrated into our program of
- community service, RAK on ACK, acts of kindness in first grade in the school
The MindUp™ core curriculum is published by Scholastic.To read more about the Hawn Foundation: http://www.thehawnfoundation.org/mindup